DACA: What's Next?

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El Buchanan The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a American immigration policy that allows minors that were brought to America illegally to stay for a waiting period in order to get a work permit. In 2012, Barack Obama used an executive action to implement the DREAM Act. This year, President Donald Trump has receded the policy. The original DACA plan that Obama enacted through executive action was a response to his frustration with Congress– they would not agree on any type of immigration reform, so Obama used his executive power to give amnesty to 800,000 of the children of undocumented immigrants or dreamers. He passed the plan and allowed already vulnerable, undocumented immigrants to register with the government to get the benefits DACA promised. Congress did nothing to take away or permanently keep the program. And in September, Trump ended DACA with a six month waiting period for congress to try to properly pass the law. The Left is saying Trump is using these dreamers as political pawns to gain more respect from Right leaders, but he has noted that he has no hate for the program. He’s asserted his “love for these people, and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly”. This sentiment does seem sincere, but Congress has not made any moves on immigration reform for over twenty-five years. While both sides have come out to support the program, actually passing a bill seems highly unlikely. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois has been working on this exact bill for over a decade. Each time it has been presented to the Senate, it’s failed. So, all eyes are on Congress. But why should Latin students care? Latin’s Initiative For Ethics (LIFE) hosted a discussion last week on DACA for that exact reason– the point being to engage the Latin community in examining those kinds of issues. It’s often believed that Latin community isn’t affected by issues such as healthcare or human rights. In reality, we are. Even if you are not directly affected, as one student explained, “it’s our responsibility as a privileged community to support other communities in need of our help. We would be selfish, in the most negative way, if we only cared about our own benefits.” Post-conversation, the participants filled out note cards stating why they believe this conversation is of the utmost importance at Latin. They’re displayed in the stairwell between the second and third floors. One note card, however, stands out amongst the rest. It reads, “I am undocumented myself, and I am here.” If a member of our own community is facing discrimination, this is most certainly a Latin issue. Ethics affects every member of the United States, including Latin, and we should all gain knowledge and engage in conversations about DACA and more to make Latin a more inclusive environment.]]>